The FICM engineering and construction group provides expert mediation, arbitration, project neutral, and other ADR services to the construction industry to resolve disputes in a timely and cost effective manner.
These specialists also resolve even the most complex matters efficiently utilizing early intervention methods, ranging from structured negotiations, project neutrals, initial decision-making, and mediation, to dispute review boards.
By naming FICM in your contract documents as your project’s dispute resolver you have access to the most knowledgeable and efficient experts in the industry and can better control your overall risk and costs. FICM offers a wide range of dispute resolution clauses to meet your needs.
Construction arbitrators, mediators, and dispute resolvers on complex projects
FICM ecg neutrals have an unparalleled depth of experience and knowledge about the construction process. They are also skilled in dispute resolution management. FICM ecg neutrals serve as mediators, arbitrators, and “rapid resolution” dispute resolvers in complex disputes and claims related to a wide range of engineering, construction and infrastructure projects – both public and private. These projects include bridges, subways and transportation facilities, roads and highways, casinos, resorts, airports, stadiums and arenas, water and wastewater plants, refineries, pipelines, tunnels, dams, levees, mines, railroads, hospitals and healthcare facilities, manufacturing and distribution facilities, commercial office towers, high-rise condominiums and hotels, municipal projects, university buildings, schools, shopping centers, and a range of energy projects including power plants, and co-generation, electrical transmission, and nuclear facilities.
FICM ecg neutrals have both subject matter expertise and broad experience in resolving disputes among all construction industry participants, including public and private owners, contractors, subcontractors, specialty contractors, architects, engineers, sureties, insurers, material manufacturers and suppliers, equipment suppliers, lenders, technical consultants, construction accountants, and building code officials.
Cost-effective and efficient managers of construction arbitration
Arbitrator expertise and experience that promote prompt understanding and fair resolution of complex construction and infrastructure disputes are some of the paramount reasons clients have utilized binding arbitration rather than courtroom litigation as the construction industry’s dispute resolution method of choice.
FICM ecg neutrals are some of the most experienced arbitrators in the field. They also are experts in the critical role of providing cost-effective and efficient management of the entire arbitration process – from before the hearing through the issuance of a reasoned award. Such cost-effective management procedures include control of pre-hearing discovery and hearing document admissibility, use of hearing “chess clock” procedures, conduct of joint examinations of opposing expert witnesses, prompt rulings on dispositive and discovery motions, maintenance of hearing schedules with minimum delays or interruptions, issuance of reasoned awards in sufficient detail to assure settlement of all issues in dispute, and service as appellate arbitrators to provide prompt binding reviews of awards rendered by others.
Skilled construction mediators
Although there are various reasons why mediations succeed or fail, perhaps the most important ingredient for success is selection of an outstanding mediator. Achieving settlement of complex construction disputes through mediation requires a mediator with expertise, skill, and experience in the mediation process, as well as in the construction industry. Such expertise, skill, and experience allows the mediator, in confidential discussions with individual parties, to develop bases for settlement by assisting the parties’ as requested in their respective evaluations of critical factual and legal issues, and not just serving as a practitioner of mere “shuttle diplomacy”. FICM ecg neutrals are such mediators.
The project neutral has one client – the project. Before construction begins, owners, contractors, and architects frequently name a project neutral in their contracts. As a trained adr specialist, the project neutral becomes part of the project team and follows the design and building process from concept to completion.
The project neutral offers the benefits of advice on ADR methods most suitable for early resolution of particular disputes, early neutral intervention to resolve brewing controversies by prompt dispute evaluation, and mediation in an informal, cost-effective manner during the overall design and construction process. The project neutral accepts the team’s trust and can meet with members privately to discuss concerns about keeping the project on time and within budget. The project neutral is available on an as-needed basis, not only to mediate disputes as they arise, but also to avoid future litigation by identifying and addressing potential problems before they grow into claims.
FICM ecg neutrals understand the complexity of project financing and the demands of multinational mega-projects with numerous participants. After working for many years with owners, contractors, subcontractors, and design professionals, we can appreciate each of the parties’ needs and positions.
Dispute review boards
Dispute review boards (“drb”) routinely are established at the beginning of many large projects to render non-binding decisions on disputes as they arise during construction of the project.
FICM ecg neutrals serving as drb members promptly resolve claims and disputes as they arise. With broad engineering, construction, and legal backgrounds, and commitment to ADR work, FICM ecg neutrals are uniquely qualified to serve on a dispute review board over the lifetime of a project.